Chris Pattison has been in touch. Chris, you’ll remember, is the wonderful historian charting the history of South Staffordshire Water, who has made such great moves in helping local historians like myself, Kate Cardigan, David Moore and Ian Pell to bring local water and railway history to life.
Chris has found some wonderful images which have been featured here before – the enclosure of Shire Oak Reservoir, the lifting of the main in Brownhills, and of course, the great tale of the lost surge stack.
Well, he’s done it again. Here’s an article taken from in-house South Staffordshire Water documents about a burst in the main between Wood Green and Lichfield, that occurred at 7am on 19th February 1961. It took place on the South Staffordshire Line between Lichfield and Hammerwich, and Chris is keen to pinpoint the exact location. If you can help, please do comment.
I thank Chris for this – like Gareth Thomas and his groundbreaking work at Lichfield District Council, it’s great to see large organisations interfacing and helping record local history with amateur meddlers like me.
I have another piece on this to run later in the week, which gives more technical detail, so stay tuned…
INFORMATION GIVEN VERBALLY AT JANUARY BOARD MEETING
On Thursday, 19th January, a serious fracture occurred on the 24″ cast iron pumping main from Sandfields Pumping Station to Wood Green, about half a mile north of Hammerwich Station.
This main was laid in 1858 or thereabouts and is of the original works of the Company. It is laid alongside the railway Lichfield to Walsall and the burst occurred at a point where the main is laid on the top of an embankment about 30ft. high adjacent to a railway over bridge. The escaping I away a section of the embankment adjacent to a railway over bridge. The escaping water washed away a section of the embankment adjacent to the bridge causing large cavity about 20 ft. across and some 25 ft. deep and undermining both railway tracks and exposing the main.
Immediate action in accordance with prior arrangements was taken to warn British Railways when the drop in pressure occurred and railway traffic was stopped without any mishap.
The cavity in the embankment was refilled by British Railways in slightly over 24 hours and the length of main over the repaired section of embankment, being slung on 45 ft. long mild steel joist to protect it against settlement.
Normal pumping was restored within 48 hours of the occurrence.
Under the terms of the agreement relating to this main, the Company is responsible to the Commission for the cost of all repairs, together with the cost of delays in traffic and alternative road services for passenger traffic.
This matter is in the hands of the company’s Insurers.